Fresh Masters: Recent MFA Work in Glass

January 23rd – March 9th, 2019

Opening Reception is Wednesday, January 23rd, 6-8pm

Exhibiting artists: Evan Burnette, Ana Parisi, James Ronner, Kristine Rumman, and Heather Sutherland.

Curated by Ben Wright.

UrbanGlass presents our biennial review of recent MFA work in glass. Chosen from a deep and talented field of graduates from across North America, the exceptional contributions of Evan Burnette, Anna Parisi, James Ronner, Kristine Rumman, and Heather Sunderland stood out, exemplifying both the quality and diversity of aesthetic and conceptual concerns being tackled by artists across the contemporary art spectrum. 

Hailing from very distinct graduate programs - Burnette from Ball State University, Muncie, ID, 2017; Parisi from Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, 2018; Ronner from Alfred University, Alfred, NY, 2017; Rumman from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2018; and Sutherland from Wisconsin Madison University, Madison, WI, 2017 - these artists have adopted the mixed-media approach to expression common amongst today's conceptual practitioners.

Their treatment and usage of glass, however, varies radically across technique and intent. From the immersive installations of Rumman and Ronner to the evocative sculptures of Parisi and Sunderland to the humorous surrealism of Burnette, this work tackles critical issues of race and gender as well as timeless inquiries into the relationship between individuals and the recombinant nature of culture and society.

Artist Bios:

Evan Burnett

Evan Burnette, born in Springfield, Illinois, received his MFA from Ball State University in 2017. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he is in the process of building a glass studio. His artwork combines many tenets of early 20th-century Surrealist thought, such as automatism and free expression, and integrates psychological, aesthetic, and ethical issues related to humor. His works show an interest in the concepts of both physical and mental play, part Dadaist, part social satire, and part toilet humor.  

Anna Parisi

Anna Parisi is a Brazilian artist born in 1984 and based in Brooklyn whose practice is mostly centered in sculpture and performance. She earned a BA in communications from Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC-RJ) and her MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design. Through her research and work, Anna investigates the violent and traumatic experience of the erasure of black, female-coded and historically oppressed bodies. She is interested in provoking and creating a dialogue between distinct African Diasporas, working through ideas of decolonization of the mind. By expediting the process of corrosion on metal to reveal layers and layers of violence, oppression, and neglect, she gestures towards deconstructing racism and misogyny by pushing the material into its full erosion. Her interests lie in exploring ways of resistance to structural violence through the dismantling of racial hegemonies in her pieces. Anna has exhibited in Westbeth Gallery, Smack Mellon, Artigo Rio, Musée de l'Elysée Lausanne amongst others.  

James Ronner

James Ronner views art as a vector of progressive social change. The conceptual foundation of his work is firmly rooted in the self-generative role we collectively play in our cultural and technological co-evolution. His transdisciplinary yet fiercely material practice stems from his diverse personal, professional and academic experiences. Ronner completed a BS in 2005 with a double major in sculpture and molecular biology and a cell and molecular biology MSc in 2006. Ronner has taught at TsingHua University, CAFA Beijing and Alfred University. His work can be seen in both private and public collections in the US, P.R. China and Taiwan. Ronner has received national and international grants from several institutions including the Bernstein Fund, the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Georges Lurcy Charitable Educational Trust. In May of 2017, Ronner completed an MFA at Alfred University where he was investigating multisensory immersive strategies which confront endemic cultural disengagement.

 Kristina Ruman

Kristine Rumman is an interdisciplinary artist whose work investigates the possibilities of what art can do that politics cannot. Comprised of sculpture, installation, performance, video, and object-making, Rumman works with technologies that are familiar forms for producing propaganda globally, ranging from security glass and empathy inducing lighting to self-help audio tapes, olfactory praxis and social platforms.
Rumman grew up in Toledo, the birthplace of the Studio Glass Movement, where she began her nearly two decade long relationship with glass. She graduated with a BFA from Bowling Green State University in 2008 and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in 2018. For her work, Rumman has received awards and grants including support from Temple Contemporary and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Laurie Wagmen Prize in Glass, and the GAS Student Exhibition: A Showcase of Emerging International Talent. Kristine Rumman is presently based in Philadelphia where she is an Instructor at Tyler School of Art and a new member at Vox Populi.

Heather Sutherland

A Virginia native, Heather Sutherland recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madiso with an MFA in Glass. Her body of work combines glass, various materials and language to depict concepts of gender, commodity, luxury, and labor. She has worked with institutions including Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, Tidewater Community College, Pilchuck Glass School, among others. She has  and taught summer courses at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and currently teaching fall semester at Salem Community College. Most recently she completed a residency with the Creative Glass Center of America with WheatonArts.  

Curator bio:

Ben Wright holds a BS in Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College, a BFA in Glass from the Appalachian Center for Crafts, and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. While at Dartmouth, he explored forests from upstate New Hampshire to tropical Jamaica to record and map song birds for the renowned ornithologist Richard Homes. His background in Biology figures strongly in his artwork and curatorial interests, which delve deeply into the ever-evolving relationship between humans and their environment.  He has recently curated shows at the Islip Art Museum and the American Museum of Glass. He has taught his unique approach to art making and thinking at numerous schools including Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Ox-Bow School of Art and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and abroad in Germany, Turkey, Poland, Denmark and Japan and is currently the Director of Education at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, New York.

Juror Bios:

Graciela Cassel (born in Argentina) is a New York-based artist. She received an MA in Studio Art from NYU (2012) and a MFA from SVA(2014). She is a multimedia artist whose work in the past three years has been inspired by rivers and ocean, as well as clouds. Cassel has exhibited internationally with paintings, etchings, and videos.  Her videos received 14 awards and they were selected for inclusion in 32 film festivals. Her latest installation “Dreaming Clouds and Cloud Machine” was presented at the Museo del Barrio show at SVA (2017)

Graham Caldwell was born in Philadelphia in 1973, and received a BFA in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Selected exhibitions include Martos Gallery in New York; G Fine Art, The Millennium Arts Center, and Addison Ripley Fine Art in Washington DC; Bank in Los Angeles; Circuit 12 in Dallas; Luis de Jesus Seminal Projects in San Diego; and Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara, CA. Collections include: Arlington County, VA Public Art Permanent Collection, Arsenal Montreal, ART in Embassies, U.S. Department of State, Permanent Acquisition for US Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia and Kiev, Ukraine. He lives and works in Brooklyn.